Bulls nearly blow 28-point lead but hang on for 111-110 win over Thunder


OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Nikola Vucevic had 26 points and 15 rebounds, and the Chicago Bulls withstood a fierce rally by Oklahoma City to beat the Thunder, 111-110, on Monday night.

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The Bulls led by 28 points in the third quarter, but the Thunder had a chance to tie it in the closing seconds. Oklahoma City's Shai Gilgeous-Alexander missed a 3-pointer that would have evened the score with 2.3 seconds to play.

Rookie Ayo Dosunmu scored a season-high 24 points and Zach LaVine added 23 for the Bulls.

The Bulls were short-handed. DeMar DeRozan, who averages 26.3 points per game, rested. Lonzo Ball was out with a bruised left knee and Alex Caruso missed the game with a fractured wrist suffered when Milwaukee’s Grayson Allen yanked him to the ground.

Chicago, one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference, had lost six of seven and was coming off a 19-point loss to NBA-worst Orlando.

Gilgeous-Alexander had 31 points and 10 assists and Lu Dort added 16 points for the Thunder, who have lost 11 of 12.

Dosunmu scored 16 points on 7-for-7 shooting in the first half to help the Bulls take a 58-48 lead at the break.

Javonte Green's right-handed throwdown in traffic put the Bulls up 66-50 early in the third quarter, and Chicago's biggest lead was 84-56 midway through the period. Oklahoma City trimmed that deficit, but Dosunmu banked in a 3-pointer from just inside half court at the buzzer to give the Bulls a 92-78 advantage.

Dort's 3-pointer with 53.6 seconds remaining cut Chicago's lead to three, and a layup by Josh Giddey with 14.8 seconds left made it a one-point game.

LaVine made two free throws with 9.9 seconds left. After Gilgeous-Alexander's miss, Green sealed it when he made a free throw with 1 second remaining.

Bulls: Derrick Jones (hyperextended right knee) and Patrick Williams (torn left wrist) sat out ... LaVine was hit in the face in the third quarter and returned with stitches above his left eye ... Forward Tyler Cook took an elbow to the face in the third quarter, left the game and did not return ... Dosunmu fouled out after playing 35 minutes.

Thunder: Gilgeous-Alexander scored 19 points in the second half. ... Held Chicago to 6-for-22 shooting in the fourth quarter. ... Mike Muscala scored 14 points in 15 minutes.

Bulls: host Toronto Raptors on Wednesday.
Thunder: host Indiana Pacers on Friday.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press.